The first step in Medicaid planning is education. The more you know about how Medicaid works, the better you will be able to look out for the interests of your family. It is important to consult with a legal professional who can provide insight into your specific situation.
Things to remember:
- It’s never too late
Medicaid planning can begin anytime, even if your loved one is already living in a skilled care facility. But the sooner you plan, the more options you will have to protect what’s important to you.
- You can keep your home
If you’re married, and you or your spouse needs to go into a nursing home, your home is exempt from Medicaid’s calculation of what your contribution to the cost of care should be. If you are unmarried or widowed and you go into a nursing home, your house may be exempt if you follow certain procedures. But planning is key to preserving your home.
- Don’t give away the store
Since major changes to laws in 2006, “gifting” away your assets creates unforeseen circumstances for years. Far from protecting yourself, you will be undermining your own security.
Mind those safe harbors
Congress has created a number of “safe harbor” provisions for protecting your assets. These exempt certain assets and allow transfers to children or siblings who meet certain eligibility requirements, as well as putting assets in certain kinds of trusts.
Carefully choose when you apply
Applying too early can mean a longer wait for Medicaid qualification than necessary, while applying too late can mean having to pay for months of care you may not have had to. Rule of thumb: Do not apply for Medicaid without a plan to ensure you qualify.
Get the right help
Medicaid planning is a complex matter. You need expert assistance to keep your assets safe. Be sure to find legal counsel who limits their practice to this area – someone with proven expertise in Medicaid law.
Contact us. We can help.
The best advice we can give you is this: Start planning now. No one knows what the future will bring. The sooner you start preparing for your golden years, the fewer surprises there are likely to be. And a little planning now can make a big difference for you and your loved ones later on.
Contact us today for a consultation. We are glad to help.
The Non-Service Connected Disability Pension Benefit (with Aid and Attendance)
The Non-Service Connected Disability Pension Benefit is a VA benefit available to both qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses. This pension program is designed to supplement the income of elderly and/or disabled veterans who gave up career opportunities to serve their country during a time of war and therefore were either unable to advance their careers or acquire enough resources to support themselves after they have become disabled.
Aid and Attendance is a benefit available to veterans, their spouses, widows or widowers. This benefit is the highest level of pension available and is designed to offset to help offset the cost of nursing homes, assisted living communities, and personal care homes. A claimant is in need of aid and attendance if they need regular aid and attendance from another person. A claimant is presumed to be in need of aid and attendance if they are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical disability.
The following is a maximum monthly benefit amount allowed for the Aid and Attendance pension level. Benefits are paid directly to the claimant and are retroactive to the date of application. Payments are tax free.
Monthly (Approximately) / Yearly (Approximately)
Single Veteran $1,732.00 / $20,795.00
Married Veteran $2,054.00 / $24,652.00
Surviving Spouse $1,113.00 / $13,362.00
Veteran Married to Veteran $2,676.00 / $32,114.00
In Order to Qualify veterans must have served at least 90 days on active duty, one day of which was during a period of war, discharge was other than dishonorable, veteran is over 65 years of age or disabled, and veteran and spouse have limited income and net worth.
Service Connected Disability Benefits
Veterans are entitled to compensation for disabilities incurred or aggravated during active military, naval, or air service. Veterans are awarded service connected compensation based on the disability rating they are awarded by the VA. If you are a veteran that suffers from a disability that is a result of an incident, injury or event that occurred during your military service, then we can assist you in getting the benefits which you have earned by serving your country.
Wills save time and money by ensuring that an estate is probated as quickly and efficiently as possible. Properly funded trusts can eliminate or minimize the need for probate, which saves time and money while eliminating hassles over probate procedures.
We can also provide you with the following additional estate planning services and documents: financial powers of attorney, healthcare powers of attomey, living wills, all types of trusts, beneficiary deeds and quitclaim deeds.
But first, we listen. We’re interested in your needs. We want to know what’s important to you because we specialize in effectiveness. So, we create legal solutions based on what will be most useful for you.
Our will, trust and estate planning work essentially deals with changing the title of your assets to the names of your heirs. And we help you avoid probate court whenever possible, because that’s what you and your heirs deserve.
We’re confident that if you talk with us about wills, trusts or estate planning that you’ll leave as most of our clients do–relieved, reassured and well-informed.
Elder law strategies will often involve implementing advanced estate planning techniques, such as expanded Durable Power of Attorney documents, specialized Wills, and Irrevocable Asset Protection Trusts. However, it is important to understand how the implementation of each of these strategies can effect potential benefits from each government program which may be helpful to you and your loved ones.
Many individuals don’t want to face these issues until faced with a long term care crisis, and that’s normal. But planning for these events before they happen will oftentimes give our client’s a better result than planning during a crisis, plus it will be much less stressful. Please contact our firm today so we can discuss a customized solution to fit your goals.
Long term care planning can also involve implementing asset protection trusts to protect an individual’s hard earned assets from creditors, predators and nursing homes, or qualifying a client for government benefits to help them pay for long term care. These government benefits for long term care can include benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to help offset some of the costs of care, or arranging one’s affairs so that Medicaid can help pay for a nursing home stay. Each individual solution depends on each person’s situation, means, goals and needs. We can help guide you to the customized solution that is best for you.
A Special Needs Trust allows someone to set aside funds for a loved one with a disability without effecting that loved one’s eligibility for government aid. A properly drafted Special Needs Trust will allow the trustee to supplement the government benefits of your disabled loved one, creating a better quality of life for them in the future.
Our law firm can help families address the complex issues associated with caring for a disabled loved one, and can help assure that their future is secure.
Limited Liability Entities
Limited liability entities, such as limited liability companies and corporations, give business owners and individuals the ability to separate business assets and personal assets.
Qualified Spousal Trusts
These trusts can provide the flexibility and probate avoidance features of a traditional Revocable Living Trust, yet maintain the asset protection features of property titled jointly with a husband and wife.
Asset Protection Trusts
These advanced tools can provide protection from unforeseen creditor and divorce risks for an individual’s hard earned assets, and provide creditor and divorce protection for future generations. These trusts can accomplish these goals while still providing the same probate protection as traditional living trust planning. There are many different types of these trusts each of which provides different control features based on an individual’s goals.
We’re effective advocates with a reputation for getting results. We’ll listen to you and help you resolve the obstacles between you and everything you’re entitled to.
We’ll make the entire Probate Court process as simple, understandable and rewarding as possible for you. Take the first step and talk with us, and we’ll guide you the rest of the way.
If you are the trustee of a trust, you are charged with the management of that legal instrument and the assets owned by it. Trust administration is the process of taking the steps required by state and federal laws to implement the instructions contained in the trust document itself. The complexity of this process depends on the provisions of the trust and the types of assets owned by it. Depending on the type and terms of the trust, beneficiaries must be properly notified of their interests in the trust, trust assets must be invested according to certain standards, debts properly payable from the trust must be paid, creditors must be notified, tax returns must be filed, and the income and assets must be distributed according to the terms of the trust. The assets must be properly appraised and an inventory must be prepared to determine the proper course of action.
The complexity of the trust administration process may seem daunting, by with the help of experienced legal counsel, the pitfalls of the process can be alleviated or avoided. Please contact us today for expert guidance throughout this process.
We’ll limit your risks and liabilities while advising you on the best ways to raise capital and maximize tax benefits.
We’re also readily accessible by phone, and our offices are conveniently located in West County.
We represent businesses of all types: partnerships, sole proprietorships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, all types of corporations, including not-for-profit corporations as well as subchapter S corporations.